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Old 10-10-2020, 09:38 AM   #1
alexiskai
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Default Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

With the pandemic going on and the coupe needing valve work, I haven't started her up since Christmas, and I didn't do anything special upon putting her away except disconnect the battery.

However, I'll need to move her in a couple of weeks and she'll run well enough to go a few miles. Can somebody verify my list of tasks prior to start?
  • Check coolant, gas levels
  • Check oil level and steering column lube level
  • Charge and reconnect battery
  • Pint of oil down the distributor shaft
  • Hand crank a few times to make sure everything is turning over well
I haven't listed any gas tasks because I'm running non-ethanol and it has no history of gas troubles.

Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

Clean the points, put some oil in the clylinders,air up the tires
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:02 AM   #3
alexiskai
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

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Clean the points, put some oil in the cylinders,air up the tires
Maybe MMO in the cylinders?
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

Do not turn the motor over, even hand crank. Especially, if ethanol gas drain about a quart of gas out of the gas tank, let it sit and check if there is separation or water in the gas, check the sediment bowl for water. If yes drain the entire tank, leave the gas cap off and let the tank dry, then fresh gas. Also drain the carb bowl before adding fresh gas. Had water in my tank once after filling up at a station, 5 miles down the road sputtered, backfired, and finally would not start/run. When I got it going again went back to the station and a tanker was filling the underground tank - so I must have got the bottom of the underground tank. I had unpleasant words with the manager, and reported them to the State.



Check the dipstick for water, drain about a quart of oil and check for contamination. A small amount should not hurt anything, condensation in the oil should burn off if you run the car for a half hour/hour as long as the motor gets up above 160 degrees coolant temp.



Contaminated gas can cause a lot of extra effort.
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Old 10-10-2020, 01:12 PM   #5
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

After mine sat all winter all I ever did was re-hook the battery, turn on the gas, choke and start it. FWIW
Paul in CT
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Old 10-10-2020, 01:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

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Quote:
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Maybe MMO in the cylinders?
MMO would be a good choice, put it an oil can and squirt it on top of the Pistons and valves, let it set over night. When you turn the engine over have the spark plugs out. I would drain all the fluids, gas , oil , coolant, very cheap maintenance
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

Not gonna change the fluids right now since I just need to run it briefly and then it'll be back in the garage for valve inspection and a new HC head. But I will check the gas and add some MMO in each cylinder. Thanks
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

It only sat 10 months, not much needs to be done provided it was put away properly. I maybe would remove the plugs & clean them, check fluids, spin the engine over a few revolutions and replace the plugs then give it a start.
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

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It only sat 10 months, not much needs to be done provided it was put away properly. I may would remove the plugs & clean them, check fluids, turn the engine over a few revolutions and replace the plugs then give it a start.
Guess it depends what "properly" means. I certainly didn't think at the time that I was putting it up for 10 months or I'd have put stabilizer in the gas at the very least. Temperature swings should have been relatively mild. I'm primarily concerned about the missing lubrication layer on the moving parts.
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

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Originally Posted by alexiskai View Post
Guess it depends what "properly" means. I certainly didn't think at the time that I was putting it up for 10 months or I'd have put stabilizer in the gas at the very least. Temperature swings should have been relatively mild. I'm primarily concerned about the missing lubrication layer on the moving parts.
The gas if not ethanol will be ok. Spinning it with the plugs out will get the oil pump working and oil the bearings. I agree with a shot of MMO in the cylinders won't hurt the rings any.
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1931 flamingo View Post
After mine sat all winter all I ever did was re-hook the battery, turn on the gas, choke and start it. FWIW
Paul in CT
40 plus years, this is also all I have ever done. I even leave the battery connected, I just remove fuse.

Many years ago, I pulled a Model A out of a barn in Up-State New York. Had been in storage since the end of WWII, about 35 years. New gas, battery, and water. Air in tires. Car started right up. Clutch was rusted to fly wheel.

Car is still running fine.

Enjoy.
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

30closed covered it.
I have torn down too many engines that sat a long time, we’re started up on the old gas and then we’re found seized the next day. Including my F1.
Drain the tank n add some new gas.
I never disconnect the batteries but I won’t say anything bad about people who do.
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

I disconnected the battery to prevent my kids leaving the lights on during one of their occasional make-believe driving games.
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

My grandfather had a 53 ford truck, us kids where playing in it and someone in the cab pushed a shiny chrome starter button. The ones in the bed almost ended up on the ground, one of only a few times I saw grandpa upset!
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

So it has sat for 10 months. To me that is not an especially long time.
I've opened up quite a few engines (Model A and others) that have sat much longer and they still have a good layer of oil on the moving parts. It takes a long time for oil to dry up.

I'm assuming the car was in an enclosed space protected from the weather.

Check the fluids and if you want put a squirt of oil in each cylinder, spin it over a few times while the plugs are still out. After that fire it up and go.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:44 AM   #16
alexiskai
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

Thanks everyone for the good advice in this thread.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

WHN-
You were very lucky nothing ugly got inside that engine to foul things up.
Conventional wisdom is to at least drop the pan and have a look before turning over after such long storage.
"your results may (and did) vary"
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:11 AM   #18
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

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WHN-
You were very lucky nothing ugly got inside that engine to foul things up.
Conventional wisdom is to at least drop the pan and have a look before turning over after such long storage.
"your results may (and did) vary"
Your right, I was lucky, but at the time we felt the engine was going to need rebuilding anyway. Little did we know that 40 years later it would still be running great.

After we started the engine and found out the clutch was rusted. We dropped rear end and pulled trans to replace clutch, pressure plate, and bearings. Also pulled head and dropped oil pan. Everything was fine. Valves were a little loud. MMO fixed that within 100 miles. Compression all in the mid 60ís.

I learned many years ago that you can over think a lot of things. These are simple cars, most of the time any perceived problem has a simple fix.

Enjoy.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Checklist for startup after 10-month unplanned hiatus

Have you looked at the insides of the carburetor?
When my car was sitting for an extended period (without running the carburetor dry beforehand), it was not a pretty sight afterwards.
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